Four players scored in double
figures and Valparaiso got several key defensive
stops on Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders earned their first Horizon League
victory of the season on Saturday afternoon, defeating Loyola (Chicago)
65-58 at the Joseph G. Gentile Center in Chicago,
“We put together a good solid
effort today,” head coach Keith Freeman
said. “We got a lot of production offensive
from a lot of different people and had a collective defensive effort. We worked hard as a team.”
(Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes H.S.) had two key plays late in the
second half, a steal followed by a layup and a three-pointer in the final
minute, to offset an off-shooting game from the floor. The defense stepped up late as well, never
surrendering the lead in the final 32 minutes even though the Ramblers cut the
Valpo advantage to one seven times.
(Connersville, Ind./Connersville H.S.) got the Crusaders
started offensively, scoring five straight points to give Valpo its first lead
of the game, 8-6, four minutes into the contest.
The Crusaders then went into
a four minute scoring drought, only to have the defense step up and keep the
Crusaders in the game. An Ashley Timmerman (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac
H.S.) three-point put the Crusaders back on top, 11-10, a lead Valpo would
never give up.
Rashida, Laura, and Betsy did
a good job communicating on defense today,” Freeman commented. “Lots of people then stepped up and scored as
Back-to-back triples by Rashida Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding
H.S.) and Timmerman increased the lead to six as the Crusaders started the game
five-of-nine from beyond the arc.
Another 3:30 scoring drought
by the Crusaders was ended by another Timmerman three, making it 20-16 with
seven minutes to play.
(Mooresville, Ind./Mooresville H.S.) added a three-point
play inside with three minutes to play before break increasing the lead to six
and the Crusaders ended up taking a 29-24 lead into the locker room.
Adams scored four straight out of halftime as the Crusaders
tallied seven of the first nine points of the second half to build a 10-point
advantage, Valpo’s largest of the game to that point.
Loyola answered with an 11-2
run, pulling within one, 38-37 with 13:07 to play in the game. The Ramblers had missed their first nine
three-point attempts prior to a Monica Albano triple late in the run.
Four more times during the
second half the hosts would pull within one, but each time the Crusaders had an
answer. Leading by two, 50-48, with just
under seven minutes to play, Adams registered
a steal and score that jump-started the offense again. A 9-0 run put the Brown and Gold on top 59-48
with 4:10 to play.
The Ramblers cut the Crusader
lead down to two, 60-58, with 52.4 seconds to play after scoring seven straight
points in less than a minute.
With the shot clock expiring,
Adams drained her only triple of the game with 20.9 seconds to play, pushing
the lead back to five and Tabitha
Gerardot (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury H.S.) added to free throws to help
snap Valpo’s six-game losing skid as the Crusaders earned their first win in
“We could have folded at the
end but our kids stepped up,” Freeman said.
“We had lots of positives. We
were able to hold them under 60 and that is a key number for us.”
Gerardot led the Crusaders
offensively with 14 points and nine rebounds while Adams, Timmerman, and
Richards each added 11 points. Richards
matched her career high at Valpo with her 11 points while Callaway also tied
her career high with seven more.
“Tabitha and Maegan helped us
offensively inside,” Freeman added. We
got to the line 19 times, including 16 in the second half. We got the ball in the lane more and were
able to do something with it.”
Albano led Loyola (8-10, 2-5 Horizon) with 20 points while
Lindsey Sebetic added 11 points.
Valpo outrebounded the
Ramblers 40-37, and capitalized on 13 Loyola turnovers by scoring 16 points off
of them. The Crusaders turned the ball
over just 12 times on the afternoon.
Valparaiso (4-15, 1-6) returns home to the Athletics-Recreation Center
on Thursday evening to begin a four-game homestand. Tip-off against Milwaukee is set for 7:05 p.m.
Game Notes: Richards
had scored just two points in her last five games total before scoring 11 on
Saturday … Gerardot led Valpo in scoring for the fourth time this season … the
freshman has also had eight or more rebounds now in 10 of 19 games … Valpo has
held its opponents below 60 points in all four wins this year … Valpo is now
16-2 all-time against Loyola and 8-2 against the Ramblers in Chicago.